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Best Chess Trainers of the Year-2011

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Yuri Dokhoian, an ex-second of Garry Kasparov and the current captain of the Russian men's team, has reshaped the Russian women's chess team and helped it become #1 in the world. His proteges won the Olympic gold medal in 2010

FIDE has published a list of the best chess coaches in 2011. Here are the results:
Congratulations to the winners and the nominees!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 July 2012 )

Russian Top League: Mission Survival

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012
by Natalia Pogonina for her Tuesday column

Early summer was a very busy period for me in terms of tournament play. I took a short break after the World Womens Blitz & Rapid Chess Championships and then headed to the Russian Top League in Tyumen, followed by a trip to St. Petersburg for the Russia vs. China match. My goals for the tournaments were to qualify for the Russian Superfinal and get an invitation to play for the Russian Olympic team this year. I might kill the plot of the story if I say it, but anyway: both of them were fulfilled. Wink

You might have noticed that I havent written columns at for a month. Now I am very happy to come back and share some of my impressions with you. This time we will talk about the Top League a prestigious qualifier event.

The calendar of official Russian tournaments looks like a pyramid starting from city championships and headed by the Superfinal. The Top League is the final act of determining who will play in the round robin super tournament. The medalists of the previous year and the two highest-rated players are invited automatically, while everyone else has to take a shot at the remaining 5 spots. Since 2007 I was being invited to the Superfinal by rating/previous results, but this time I had to play in the qualifier held in Tyumen.

The Top League is a unique tournament in some way, especially the mens section. This is a closed Swiss tournament which is stronger than most opens. This year there were 46 participants. Five of them had a FIDE rating over 2700, including the reigning European Chess Champion Dmitry Jakovenko. 32 of them were grandmasters. And, remember, only 5 qualifying spots.

The womens division was also quite strong. Most of the leading players who didnt have an invitation to the Superfinal were taking part, 32 in total. This year there were 11 rounds instead of 9 a rather long distance. If you are interested in the details participants, my statistics at the Top League, etc., you can check out this preview.

This article will be dedicated to the first part of the event, i.e., the first 6 rounds.

I started slowly by drawing two significantly lower-rated opponents. Notably, in both games I was even worse at certain points. However, the 11-round marathon allowed me to catch up later on. Then I won three games in a row. The game against Marina Romanko in round 5 was rather complicated: in the middlegame I played inaccurately and could have ended up in trouble. Then an objectively drawn queen endgame occurred, but I managed to win it in style.

In round 6 I had to play my friend Baira Kovanova. By that time she had a perfect score: 5/5! The game was drawn. After 6 rounds the standings were the following:

1. Baira Kovanova 5.5/6

2-4. Olga Girya,Ekaterina Ubiennykh, Natalia Pogonina 4.5/6

5-7. Ekaterina Timofeeva, Irina Vasilevich, Zoia Severiukhina 4/6


Baira Kovanova was unstoppable like a tornado at this year's Top League

And here are a few interesting and instructive chess fragments for you to check out from rounds 1-6:

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 July 2012 )

Guess the Players-71

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Monday, 16 July 2012
Collage by Miguel Angel Sebastian

Can you name the 20 leading male and female grandmasters pictured on this chess collage?

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Last Updated ( Monday, 16 July 2012 )

Chess Week on Twitter

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Monday, 16 July 2012 offers you a selection of some of the most informative and entertaining chess tweets from last week:

Quote of the week
Following Andrew Paulson's plans to revolutionize the game
The joy of chess in any age
Will a woman become the absolute Swiss Chess Champion?
Alexandra Kosteniuk: Today I won a complicated game in the Sicilian and am now leading the tournament after 4 rounds

Kramnik and Ponomariov are leading Dortmund at 2.5/3
A noble cause
Two chess officials arguing about when to resign...from office
Ivanchuk is leading the ACP Golden Classic
Hardly surprising
We have a better question: what is "This Means War"?

Have we missed some of the best tweets? You can contribute to our next top-10 stories chart by retweeting the post you like and adding @Pogonina to the message so that we can see it.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 16 July 2012 )

Sunday Puzzle-14

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Sunday, 15 July 2012
Puzzle courtesy of Barry R. Clarke, columnist for The Daily Telegraph and
international puzzle expert.


In Loudland, where everyone makes as much noise as possible, the inhabitants have three coins in their currency: a 3 honk, 4 honk, and 7 honk. One inhabitant recently bought a 2000 Watt stereo system for 63 honks using 15 coins, however, because of the noise going on around him, he couldn't recall how many of each coin type he had used. The three numbers of coins were each from 1 to 9 inclusive and no two numbers were the same. How many of each had he used?

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Sunday Puzzle

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 July 2012 )

Chess TV 24/7 Broadcast

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Saturday, 14 July 2012
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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 November 2013 )

Blitz Chess Tactics

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Saturday, 14 July 2012
White to move

In the "Blitz chess tactics" section you have to find a move within 10 seconds. How would you play as White?

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 July 2012 )

Channel One (Russia) about the Russian Chess Teams at the Chess Olympiad-2012

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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Chess doesn't get much media coverage even on Russian television. Hence, it was a pleasure to see the most popular Russian TV channel report on the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Istanbul and mention the national men's and women's teams.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 July 2012 )

Guess the Players-70

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Photo (C)

Two of the players are too easy to guess, but do you recognize the blonde girl wearing a blue dress? Tip: she is over 2400 FIDE and was born in the same year as Natalia.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2012 )

Alexander Grischuk is now two-times World Blitz Chess Champion

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

After day 1 of the double round robin Grischuk had 10.5 points out of 15, followed by Karjakin, Ivanchuk and Andreikin (9.5).
During the second part of day 2 Carlsen started winning one game after another, including defeating Sergey Karjakin and overtaking him on the standings. Here is the final table:

As you can see, Alexander Grischuk won the World Blitz Chess Championship again (the first one was in 2006). We congratulate him with this great success! Notably, Magnus Carlsen earned two silver medals (in rapid and in blitz), while Sergey Karjakin got gold in rapid and bronze in blitz. Well done! Altogether (blitz+rapid) Karjakin and Carlsen scored 30 points out of 45 each, while Grischuk - 29. Karjakin's prize money amounted to $67,500; Carlsen's - $66,000; Grischuk's - $58,000.

Grischuk is solemnly listening to the Russian national anthem, while Carlsen and Karjakin keep chucking all the time

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2012 )
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